What is Genetic Counseling for Cancer?
Genetic counselors use scientific tools to assess your risk of inherited medical conditions, including cancer. With genetic counseling, we can create a personalized plan to monitor, and sometimes even reduce, your risk over time. A genetic counselor explains the genetic tests that may be available and appropriate for you and your family.
Our Approach to Genetic Counseling
The Nuvance Health team includes healthcare professionals with specialized training in medical genetics and counseling. We’re trained to advise you in many areas, including:
- How genetic testing works
- Benefits, limitations and accuracy of genetic tests
- Emotional, psychological and social impacts of testing
- Cancer prevention, screening and monitoring options
- Diagnostic and treatment options
- Keeping your genetic information private
- How to talk with family members about cancer risk
We adhere to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines for genetic testing, so your care follows nationally recognized standards of excellence.
What to Expect from Genetic Counseling
Genetic testing can be a complex and deeply personal process—and Nuvance Health is here for you. Here’s what you can expect:
Documenting your history
Your counselor asks detailed questions about your personal and family background to understand what types of tests you may need. We’ll request your medical records and information about cancer in your family, including the family member’s age of diagnosis and type of cancer.
We’ll document your family tree to track this important information. Based on this data, we may be able to estimate your risk using computerized risk assessment tools.
Education on your options
We talk with you about the types of cancer you may be at risk for and the inheritance patterns for that cancer. The team explains the tests available to you, along with their benefits and limitations. We answer any questions so you can make an informed decision.
The team works closely with you and other medical specialists to determine the appropriate tests for you. Then we review the results with you, so you can have accurate, personalized information about your health.
Learning about your risk of cancer can feel confusing and overwhelming. Along with accurate information, we offer emotional support to help you and your family navigate the testing process. A highly trained team focuses on helping you feel informed and at ease.